It’s the time of year when you may want to start planning your Thanksgiving and Christmas meals. Unfortunately for local hunters, there’s no fall season for Southern Maryland turkey. They’re around, as we’ve seen them in our yard. Maryland’s fall turkey-hunting season is limited to Allegany, Garrett, and Washington counties, from October 28 to November 4, 2017.
For a Southern Maryland turkey to star in your holiday dinner, it will probably have to be from a local farm. Such farmers tend to target Thanksgiving (not Christmas) for their turkeys, and process the birds the weekend before the holiday. If you do want a local turkey for Christmas, you’d best plan to get an extra at Thanksgiving and freeze it for a month. At least one place, Moose Manor Farms, LLC, will process geese and ducks for Christmas.
Last year, we got a turkey for Thanksgiving from P.A. Bowen Farmstead (see Baked turkey, fried Maryland style). For Christmas we got a goose from Moose Manor Farms (see Getting a gander at Christmas and Roasted goose). We will probably get another goose from Moose Manor (I almost wrote Goose Manor) for this Christmas. Most of these farms start taking reservations for their birds weeks or even months before the holidays, so it pays to check-in with them well ahead of time.
Bird availability 2017
Turkey, ducks, geese
- Good Fortune Farm — Turkeys for $3.00/pound for Thanksgiving; they may have frozen ones available for Christmas.
- Hancock Family Farms — Turkeys for $3.50/pound, almost sold-out (per Facebook announcement on October 5, 2017).
- Moose Manor Farms, LLC — Heritage geese and Muscovy ducks for Thanksgiving and Christmas, $4.50/pound. While they don’t have turkeys this year, they’ll probably have them again next year.
- P.A. Bowen Farmstead — Turkeys, heritage Bourbon Red for ~$8.00/pound.
- VanAlstine Seafood & Farm — Turkeys for Thanksgiving, $5.00/pound.
- Swamp Fox Farm, LLC — Turkeys for Thanksgiving, $6.00/pound.
Southern Maryland turkey sold out
- Lucky D Farm — When in stock, they go for $5.00/pound.
Didn’t raise turkeys this year
Southern Maryland stuffed ham
Ham stuffed stuffed with spicy greens is also a local tradition. We’ve written about it a couple of times in the past. It is often served at Christmas and Easter, but some folks also like it for Thanksgiving. In addition to a goose last Christmas, we also enjoyed stuffed ham. We got half a stuffed-ham from Thompson’s Seafood Catering & Market in La Plata (see A seafood store for stuffed ham) — it was very tasty, and we are talking about getting more stuffed ham this year (my sister has already asked for it).
Our article Southern Maryland stuffed ham: an overview provides links to a number of places you can buy hams to take home. Some of the places listed are restaurants that have stuffed ham on their menus. Also, there are links to recipes if you want to try your hand at making your own. The spicy greens with the cold ham make for a great meal (they make good sandwiches, too).
Some folks I know, though, can’t handle spicy food. And the the greens in some stuffed hams are a lot spicier than in others. So, it may be a good idea to sample the greens before buying a stuffed ham. ♦